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Visits to Getty Museum and Getty Villa

Alexandria, Virginia
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Visits to Getty Museum and Getty Villa

I am trying to plan visits to both the Getty Museum and Getty Villa around a family wedding being held in Los Angeles. I would like to visit the Museum on Sunday morning (it opens at 10) but I have no idea how much time I would need to have a leisurely visit to the center. I'm thinking of visiting the Getty Villa on our way out Los Angeles on Monday morning and again have the same question - How much time should I allow to visit the Villa and not feel rushed? Also, any tips on things that should just not be missed in either place would be appreciated.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Dublin, California
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1. Re: Visits to Getty Museum and Getty Villa

I personally can spend a whole day at either one, actually multiple whole days. I especially like the Villa. I think you should plan to spend the better part of one day at either locations, at least plan to have lunch there.

Los Angeles
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2. Re: Visits to Getty Museum and Getty Villa

It really depends a lot on how you approach museums. Personally, I walk into each gallery, slowly walk past each piece and I might spend a few minutes looking at one or two pieces that catch my eye in more depth. I rarely spend more than an two hours or so looking at the art itself, then maybe another hour walking around the gardens and the architecture. Other people really like to look at each and every piece in depth, or at least a majority of them, and I could picture them spending 5 or more hours at the Getty Center. The amount of art at the Villa is not quite as great but could still take some time. The grounds at both museums are lovely.

As for what shouldn't be missed - at the Villa its obvious as soon as you see it, its the big pool with the gardens and sculptures surrounding it. At the Getty Center, its the buildings and the gardens and the views almost more than the art. If you have time for it, try to make reservations to dine at the main restaurant at the Getty Center. Also, get a map when you go to the Getty Center - the exhibits are divided across 3 or 4 buildings but several of the buildings are connected and you can easily leave one and enter another without realizing it. Its easy to lose track there of what you've seen and what you've yet to see.

Rancho Santa...
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3. Re: Visits to Getty Museum and Getty Villa

I've been to both museums many times over the years. They aren't really places that you completely experience, particularly the Getty Center. Perhaps, you are a methodical explorer. I think Mach is correct. A lot is about temperament. When I visit these places I tend to be whimsical about where I go and what I do. I may have a vague plan -- lunch on the patio. Usually, much depends on who I am with and what interests them. The settings are beautiful and having a sense of urgency defeats the purpose.

In your case, I think your plan is sound. If you arrive at the Getty at 10, you'll have plenty of time to explore. Absolutely, have lunch on the patio overlooking the city. Check out anything else you wish to. Be on your way by 2-3 p.m. If you want to stay longer, do so.

The Villa is a more compact site. I'd say arrive in the morning. Explore at your leisure. Have lunch. Be on your way. However, make sure the location of the Villa jives with your getaway. I'd assume without basis you're driving north on the PCH. But, if you're headed to LAX, make sure you give yourself enough time to get there from the Villa which is north of Santa Monica.

Be sure to read the reviews for both places and visit their respective websites.


Santa Monica...
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4. Re: Visits to Getty Museum and Getty Villa

Take a look to see what exhibits will be on when you'll be visiting ... and if they interest you ... The exhibits are changing all the time. Would definitely recommend their free docent led tours. I was at the Getty Villa last week and it was just beautiful ... Lots of people there.

West Hollywood...
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5. Re: Visits to Getty Museum and Getty Villa

Lots of good info, above. There are also docent tours at each of the galleries so you might consider taking one (or more!) of those. They're not terribly long 45 minutes or so but they're helpful in giving you some background about the museums, grounds or collection.

Re; 'how much time', it's really hard to say. I tend to fall into the '2 to 3 hours' category in most museums I visit. The Getty Center is SO HUGE and many of the galleries are so isolated -- no windows or skylights -- that I start to get 'museum-itis' (that weary, tired feeling of not seeing the sky or a tree for long periods of time). Of course, there is plenty of sky and landscape to see at the Getty Center and many, many, balconies, terraces and connecting walkways between galleries that will take you outside for a bit. As a result, you have to keep your wits about you if you plan to visit a specific set of galleries since you'll need to 'find your way' amongst all of the intervening spaces.

To me, the Getty is a place to wander. Don't worry about where you are or what you're looking at -- just roam. If you see something you like (artwork or view) stop and admire it.

The Getty Villa, on the other hand is more manageable and the galleries are all pretty light and bright. One gallery that is not to be missed is the one on ancient jewelry. It's a very small one, tucked behind another gallery (you need to walk through the first which is off the main corridor on the second floor to get to the second). But, it's not to be missed: simply spectacular designs and a true marvel given the tools they had to work with.

The food at the Getty Villa in particular is especially good. I would plan to eat there.

6. Re: Visits to Getty Museum and Getty Villa

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